The Pirates are playing better lately; that much seems clear. How much better is certainly up for debate. There’s not much room to slip back into where they were before, though. This three-game set against the Cardinals is important: the Brewers are out in front of the NL Central, but they’re at best a coin-flip to beat out the Cardinals for the division at this point. If the Pirates can manage to stick within striking distance of the Cards (they’re 3 1/2 back now), it seems like maybe the Brewers will come back to the pack.
Anyway, Francisco Liriano goes for the Pirates tonight. His last two starts have not been good; he left a start against the Cardinals early two weeks ago, and he was way off point against the Blue Jays last Sunday. Charlie Morton and Gerrit Cole gave the Pirates really good starts earlier in the week. If Liriano could join the parade, maybe the Bucs would be on to something. The Pirates’ playoff nemesis Michael Wacha starts for the Cards. First pitch is at 7:05.